I REFER to the letter from Jill Davis in the 26/11 issue of the Times in which she bemoaned the absence of car park spaces due to all day parking.

She also queried the feedback acquired from customers and businesses by the West Devon Car Park Strategy Group.

I also refer to a previous article in which Tavistock BID expressed its desire to see all day parking commence at 10am to prevent employees from taking advantage of the cheap rate. In a nutshell, park elsewhere.

There is one glaring omission from the sectors from which feedback was sought — town centre residents. Well, now it’s the turn of one of this forgotten species to have a moan.

The elsewhere? For some reason there appears to be a misconception that town centre residential streets are free, all day public car parks. I don’t know why. My property has not been placed in a council tax band to reflect a public car park location. I pay the same amount of council tax as for any other like-banded property in the region.

I am well aware that no one is entitled to an on-road parking space. Nevertheless, if Jill Davis is aggrieved by the lack of car park spaces then think what it’s like for town centre residents. The streets in which they live  suffer from non-residential, all day parking and a steady stream of shoppers and visitors seeking the occasional space. I am sure these users would not want wherever they live to be regarded and used as public car parks.

It is unclear as to what recognised statistical methods, if any, have been used to determine the alleged high incidence of all day parking in car parks, but if that is the case I would say that it has had little or no effect on the volume of all day parking in residential streets. 

Maybe it’s time for the councils to consider a Town Centre Residents’ Parking Strategy Group with two mandates:

1. To reduce the all day car park charge still further and to extend its availability to all car parks.

2. To introduce residents-only parking in the affected streets.

Together they would encourage more all day car park usage and bring the same level of hassle free residential parking to those who live in the town centre as is enjoyed by those who do not.

So here we are in the present, squabbling about parking. Do we all have a vision of what it will be like after 1500 residents with their 1000 cars have inevitably been welcomed to the outskirts of Tavistock? Is there a cunning plan in place?

A Spry